Why Preppers Should Learn Lock Picking?

Lock Picking

We as humans all have this innate desire to preserve our lives, to survive. But what begs the question is how can we ensure this preservation that we seek? What action can we take? The fact is there is only one path to self preservation and that is to invest, to provide for our future. But where specifically should our focus be in terms of this investment? Most attempt to fulfill this by means of financial success and financial security. The problem with this method is it’s dependent upon a societal framework based on rules and structure. But what happens when one day this structure dissipates and money can no longer be used as a means of securing food, shelter, and protection.

There is another form of investment that’s not so reliant upon externalities, such as society, to be applicable and it comes not in the form of money, but that of skill sets. Skills that one may never once need to use in their entire life, but if the day ever comes that they do, they can face that adversity with grace and certitude. They can ensure their survival. While there are a vast array of skills that you could one day rely on, there is one that doesn’t quite get the attention that it so deserves. This is the skill of lock picking.

Lock picking has a massive negative reputation associated with it and it’s perfectly understandable why. The very point and purpose of lock picking is to compromise locks and you might ask why one would ever desire to learn such a skill if not to use it maliciously. But the reality is the high majority of lock pickers learn this skill for one of two reasons. The majority fall under the category of the hobbyist that enjoys the puzzle and challenge that lock picking provides. There is even a recreational sport for such hobbyists called locksport which increases in popularity every day. There are also those who want to better define what security is and learn what they can do to better protect themselves and their interests. But regardless of why other individuals choose to learn this craft, you might be wonder why you should. What value does this skill hold for you? Here are a few to start.

Enlightened Security

A very concerning realization strikes those who understand the basic concepts of locks and lock picking. This realization is that locks are an illusion. They are a fantasy that promise us safety and security, but in truth they offer very little protection against anyone with the slightest knowledge of how they work. By learning ourselves how these devices work and how they can be compromised, we will gain an invaluable perspective on what security is and what steps we can take to better that security.

There is a famous Chinese saying, “Know thy enemy.” You never know what potential enemies you may have, whether it be a SHTF situation or even just in general. Furthermore, you never know what skills and knowledge these enemies may have. To be ignorant of these rivaling skills, especially in terms of security, could be detrimental to you. However if you know what your enemy knows, or even more, the tides can be turned and you can rest well at night knowing that you and your interests are at the pinnacle of security.

Be elusive

There is a certain desire one may have to be subtle in a SHTF environment and this is one of the great perks of lock picking. It is the definition of stealth. The theory behind lock picking is to essentially mimic the key and because of this you will never leave behind any evidence that a lock was picked. This could be extremely useful in an array of scenarios such as needing to get into places without alerting others that you are doing so. Additionally, because lock picking is a non-destructive way of compromising locks, you can always reuse whatever lock you pick. You can be sure that if you need to take shelter, the lock on the door that you just picked can once again be used to protect you.

Another perk of this non-destructive quality of lock picking is that you can remove a lock without damaging what it is protecting. An excellent example of this would be trigger lock on a firearm. There are few other means of removing a trigger lock without potentially harming the weapon. The difference  that acquiring addition weapons can make in a SHTF situation could easily be the difference between life and death.


Not every door can be kicked in and not every lock breached by means of force. In any urban based survival situation you will likely find yourself needing access to places that you do not have a key to. Places that could provide food, medicine, shelter, or even weapons. To exclude these resources because you don’t have the means to access them could be damaging. There is a certain reliability that comes with lock picking. Additionally, carrying around a set of lock picks is much easier than hauling around massive bolt cutters. With lock picking in your arsenal you can enjoy a certain peace of mind knowing that locks aren’t an enemy to be feared.

Learning the Craft of Lock Picking

So as we can see, lock picking is a very practical skill set to acquire. But exactly how hard is it to learn? There is a common misconception that lock picking is a skill that requires years and years of practice to pick up, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality you can expect to learn how to pick a lock and how to apply its core concepts in a very short amount of time. After first understanding how the locking mechanisms themselves work, which are exceedingly simple in their design, you can realistically expect to start picking locks within hours, and some within minutes. But like any skill, proficiency is gain and maintained through practice.

So whether it be to take shelter in a locked building, escaping handcuffs, or to simply gain access to your home after locking yourself out, lock picking is a skill that you can always rely on. You will gain certain feeling of confidence knowing that to you the world is an open door. So open up your world and learn the art of lock picking.

Post by Guest Writer: Ryan Brown, editor of the Art-of-LockPicking.com